Norway's emergence as a major oil and gas producer in the mid-1970s transformed the economy. The influx of oil revenue also permitted Norway to expand an already extensive social welfare system. Norway has established a state Petroleum Fund that exceeded $388 billion by the end of December 2007. The fund is primarily designed to help finance government programs once oil and gas resources become depleted. As yet, the country does not have a significant industrial or manufacturing base, and in banking and financial services, the country is in the process of liberalizing and consolidating the industry. Norway's restricted labor market has limited the country's ability for mainland growth, although growth in the service sector has been stronger than in manufacturing. Although Norway voted against joining the European Union, it normally adopts and implements most EU directives, and its principal trading partners are in the EU.
Perhaps you're interested in establishing a partnership with one of the country's exporters. You may be considering joint ventures with Norwegian companies, franchise or licensing opportunities or sales of your products and services in Norway. Whatever your interests and needs, the resources provided in this section will lead you to information that can support your entry into this affluent market.
More About Business Basics
Everything from understanding government regulations and tariffs, to the right labeling and gaining local representation comes into play when doing business in Norway. Getting the basics down can prepare you for market entry.
The Federation of International Trade Associations, (FITA), whose members include more than 450,000 trade-related organizations, created this resource, which provides an introduction to the market in Norway. Use the links on this page to navigate to more information about the economy and political structure, business environment and rules for buying, selling and operating a business.
This profile of the Norwegian market was prepared by the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), the Australian Government's trade and investment development agency. It reviews Norway's economic climate and provides information and statistics about such topics as trade relations; business opportunities and etiquette; tariffs; import restrictions; product certification, labeling and packaging; methods of quoting and payment; and various documentation and tax issues.
UK Trade & Investment, a division of the government of the United Kingdom, created this downloadable PDF report on doing business in Norway. The report provides introductory information about the market, advice to companies that want to export to or do business in Norway, and a guide to etiquette, language and cultural concerns.
The U.S. Department of Commerce prepared this report, and while it includes chapters dedicated to the sale of U.S. products and services in Argentina and leading sectors for U.S. export and investment, it also addresses topics of more universal interest, such as Norway’s:
- Political and economic environment
- Trade regulations and standards
- Investment climate
- Trade and project financing
- Business travel
- Contacts, market research and trade events
Understanding market-specific information, such as licensing, employment issues, getting credit, and starting a business or franchise, is critical in moving into new countries.
The World Bank's "Doing Business In" project compares business procedures and economic regulations in 181 countries throughout the world. This page provides introductory information about the Norwegian market. Most World Bank materials are published in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Russian, Chinese and Arabic.
This comprehensive report includes chapters about dealing with licenses, starting or closing a business, employing workers, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, enforcing contracts and trading across borders in Norway.
This World Bank chart summarizes the procedures, schedule requirements and costs associated with setting up a business in Norway.
Using the building of a warehouse as an example, this page features a chart summarizing the procedures, time and costs to build in Norway. Text beneath the chart provides details about each procedural step in the process.
Business success abroad depends not only on the quality of your products and services, but also on the knowledge and respect you show for the customs and manners of business people in your host country. These guides will help you to ensure that your business conduct in Norway makes a positive impression.